Why do people in the U.S. bother attending fireworks displays? In the country that popularized the neon sign, gave birth to the Burning Man festival, and encourages its citizens to create spectacular Christmas light shows featuring 10-foot candy canes and LED-studded Santas in their own front yards, there seems little reason to stand in the cold with thousands of other people, waiting for hours to go "ooh" and "ahh" as a few glorified sparklers make a bruise of the night sky. Yet we're drawn to public displays of pyrotechnic prowess every year, like moths to a flame. The lights are, of course, very pretty. Making momentary sense of hostile darkness through primary colors and geometric forms, fireworks speak a primal language that everyone understands. But that's not... More >>>